Boston-area COVID wastewater levels plunge but ‘numbers remain HIGH,’ Massachusetts virus cases drop 7%
The Boston-area COVID wastewater levels have taken a plunge after a recent surge amid the highly contagious XBB.1.5 omicron variant, as the state reported a 7% dip in new virus cases over the last week.
While the Boston-area viral sewage levels have fallen, local health officials are reminding residents that the key COVID data indicators remain high.
The virus wastewater data has helped predict COVID waves throughout the pandemic. The Boston-area COVID wastewater levels had been spiking in recent weeks during the holidays, but the data took a downward turn over the last week.
The seven-day average in the south-of-Boston region has fallen to 1,501 viral copies per milliliter, which is down from 2,009 viral copies in the report last week. The average on Thanksgiving was 721 viral copies.
The north-of-Boston region’s seven-day average has dropped to 986 viral copies per milliliter, a significant decrease from 2,023 viral copies on New Year’s Day. The average on Thanksgiving was 483 viral copies.
Boston COVID hospitalizations have also been lower in the last week, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.
“But these numbers remain HIGH,” tweeted Bisola Ojikutu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Masking indoors and on public transportation and getting boosted (boston.gov/covid19) are the right things to do.”
Meanwhile, the state Department of Public Health reported 9,360 virus cases over the last week. The daily average of 1,337 COVID cases from the last week is down 7% from the daily rate of 1,439 virus infections during the previous week.
Also, the Bay State’s positive test average decreased last week. The seven-day positive test rate is now 12.25%, down from 13.39% last week.
The state Department of Public Health on Thursday also reported that 1,250 total patients are hospitalized with COVID, which is a drop of 86 patients from this time last week.
The state reported 142 new COVID deaths over the past week, bringing the state’s total to 23,259 recorded deaths since the start of the pandemic. The daily average of deaths is now 18, which has been increasing in recent weeks.
More than 5.6 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated, and more than 3.4 million people have received at least one booster dose. Also, the state reported that more than 1.5 million additional booster doses have been administered.
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